Cool Ways to Keep Pets Comfortable During the Summer

Help your pets weather the heat and humidity with these tips and at-home tricks. From swimming pools to self-refilling water bowls and creative ice toys, your furry BFFs will be comfortable and healthy all summer long.

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Photo By: DogVacay.com

Encourage Water Play

Not just for kids! An oscillating sprinkler or shallow plastic swimming pool with 1 to 2 inches of water is the perfect resting spot for your dog on a hot, hot day (a pool makes for the perfect supply of drinking water, too). Keep it in the shade, rotate in fresh cold water every few hours, and persuade your pet to learn to love splashing.

Make Your Own Dog Ice Cream

Our favorite recipe for dog-friendly ice cream can be made well in advance, so it can be doled out all summer long. The combination of kefir, pumpkin, and banana is guaranteed to make mouths water (yours, too). Cut it into ice cream bars, or freeze the mixture in silicone cupcake liners so they’re easy to deliver on a hot afternoon.

Freeze an Ice Puzzle

Load submergible pet toys into a plastic container, and top it off with water — add a few food treats in there too, if you want. Once frozen, this icy block will provide hours of fun for your dog and it melts away, and they’re able to chew and lick their way to retrieve their treasures.

Make an Automatic Refilling Water Bowl

If you have to leave your dog at home on a long, hot day, keep the fresh water comin’! Use heavy-duty Velcro to attach a plastic bottle above your pet’s water dish. When the downward facing tip is submerged into the already-full water dish, it’ll continue to trickle out fresh water on demand as your pet rehydrates and depletes the supply. You can attach the upside down bottle directly to the wall above your pet’s dish, or create an "L-shaped" base for the auto-refill system using two pieces of wood, so the full water dish sits on the horizontal base, and the refill bottle connects to the vertical board. Tip: Freeze the refill bottle, and it’ll help to keep your pet’s water bowl chilled all day long.

Freeze a Knotted Towel

A simple, knotted frozen rag is a great thing to have on a hot day. Keep a few in your freezer, and rotate them out to give your dog something really cold to bite into. Does your dog prefer stuffed animals? If it doesn’t have a squeaker, go ahead and soak then freeze those pals, too.

Summer Baths

Get your dog cool to the core and treat him to an outdoor summer bath on a hot day. Will he be happy? Guess that depends how much he likes bath time, but he’ll be a refreshed and relieved pup when it’s done. Be eco-conscious, and always bathe your pet in an area of the yard that needs hydration so that the runoff is beneficial. (Here's the recipe for a great gentle oatmeal dog shampoo!)

Create Shade

Plain and simple. When it's nap-o-clock, always be ready to offer a shady spot for your dog to lay if it spends any part of the day outdoors. Make shade in the blazing sun by raising an outdoor umbrella or pop-up canopy, by using a dog bed to encourage your pet to lay beneath an awning or patio, or make a cozy nook on cool flagstones or outdoor tiles.

Travel With Ice Water

Freeze a bottle of water prior to your outdoor adventure, and carry it with you. The ice in the bottle will melt slowly, so you’ll have a chilled bottle of water on hand the duration of your travels to keep your pet (and yourself) well-hydrated.

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